Tricks of the Trade
The minute I saw him, I knew his motives. He had blond hair, blue eyes, and a gorgeous physique. I would peg him to be in his mid-twenties. He was not completely naked like the rest of us cruising the bathhouse. He was shirtless, but he wore his pants, just loose enough for the top of his briefs to show. Now, what type of guy do you think I am describing? If you said a hustler, you are right. The giveaway was that he was partially clothed. If he were a regular customer, he would have been stripped down like the rest of us. The fact that he was dressed partially meant the hustler did not feel like getting sexual. But to get any business, you have to show something, as a form of advertising. It is all about the tricks of the trade.
For anyone who goes to a bathhouse with any regularity, you will encounter a hustler sooner or later. There is nothing a bathhouse can do to stop it. It is after all the oldest profession in the book. Once I went to a bathhouse out of town. The first thing I saw was a sign that said no solicitation allowed. Thirty minutes later, a hustler propositioned me for an $85.00 experience. How can you tell when you get propositioned? Here is an easy way to know. If a young A&F (Abercrombie and Fitch) twink comes up to you and starts to make conversation, more than likely he is a hustler. A&F types who are not hustlers are only attracted to someone like themselves. So if you are not an A&F type and someone like that comes up to you and initiates conversation, I can guarantee that they want to make a fast buck.
The blond guy sized me up and approached me with a friendly hello. We eventually ended up in the lounge, talking. It is the first move a hustler will make. Experience tells them which men to target, Asians, and Older Gay Men. These are the men who have no luck attracting any guy at the baths. (Read Rice Queens for more) A man gets horny after seeing so many porno movies in the lounge and naked bodies walking around for hours. Enter the hustler. They know that these men need to get off, so they start a conversation, slipping in that they are working. They dangle their sexuality and body in front of these men to the point where they cannot refuse.
The blond kid and I exchanged names, his being Stephen. I ask him if he is gay, and he tells me yes. I look at Stephen and try to visualize his life before he turned to the streets hustling. He looked like the typical suburban boy-next-door: popular in high school, athletic, a ladies man. What went wrong? Perhaps he got kicked out of his home for being gay? It is possible. It is 50-50 when it comes to the sexual orientation of a hustler. Almost all of these young kids have been hustling for the sheer sake of survival. Having left broken homes, abuse, or neglect, these kids wind up on the streets, doing whatever it takes to make a buck. Most of them turn to drugs to numb the pain, like crack or heroin. Eventually, an addiction gets formed, and these kids now hustle not to eat, but to keep their habit alive.
Stephen and I chit chatted for a bit, and then he slipped to me that he is working. There are two types of hustlers you will run into at the baths. The first one advertises themselves as “masseuses.” They will go up to men asking if they want a massage. Generally, a masseuse will charge $70 to $100 for a massage. While some masseuses are pretty good at giving a massage, the majority of masseuses at the baths are not quite up to snuff. All they will do is move their hands over your body, not getting into muscles. But all of these masseuses have the same goal in mind. To get the customer sexually aroused. That is when extras get offered. Typically a handjob is an extra $50.00, oral $75.00, sexual relations (kissing, sucking) an additional $75.00 and full-fledged anal an extra $200.00. It is on top of the money already received for the massage, over $200.00 for one hours work. Some men have been doing this “masseuse” thing for years and do not fall prey to drugs or street life. It is the career they have chosen. Some are even in their mid-forties still plugging away, with a full slate of regular customers.
The other type of hustler will just cut to the chase and offer a scale of prices, similar to the masseuse. The trick here is for the hustler to spend as little time as possible. If a half an hour is arranged, the hustler will generally perform for only 20 minutes. The customer is never the wiser; he has just gotten a blowjob and feels fabulous. These hustlers get hardened fast. In a hustlers mind, a trick is not a one-night stand. A good trick is when you get a customer coming back for more and more. The hustler has a guaranteed source of income, for a while anyway, until they can line up another trick. I fell into that trap myself.
In the early 90s, when I was in my twenties, I was a sugar daddy to a hustler. It was during a period in my life where I had no self-esteem. He turned me on so much that I kept coming back for more and more. The loads of money I spent on him were obscene. I saw him about twice a week, paying him $40.00 a session. I had thought we had a relationship. But now I know better, he was just there for the money – to support his massive heroin addiction. Be aware that these hustlers are out for as much money they can squeeze from a customer. Just because a hustler may appear friendly, does not mean they will not screw someone over for a buck. In terms of my trick, I thank god that I was smart enough never to give him any personal information about myself. We initially met at the Baths and kept everything in that environment. Later on, I heard through the grapevine that he is in prison for drug trafficking. So I am lucky that he is out of my life.
Stephen strikes me as the typical hustler. They all act the same. Once they get someone sympathy, then they know they have a shot for some money. And Stephen is no exception. He starts to tell me a sob story of how he is homeless, with no money and no place to stay. The only thing he has is the bathhouse right now, and his time is almost up. I do feel sorry for Stephen, so I give him $10.00 for his locker renewal and a free room pass for a future visit, no strings attached. He asks why I do not want to sleep with him.
Not only have I encountered my share of hustlers that turn tricks over the years, but I have also paid to sleep with them as well. I’m not proud of that. What I now realize was that I had no self-esteem. I had none. So I was an easy target for a lot of the hustlers. In the early years of going to the baths, I struck out so many times and got horny in the process. When you spot a cute guy staring at you and the only thing standing in the way is $40.00, why not go for it. But what finally turned me off hustlers was their lack of excitement in bed. Like I mentioned earlier, half of them are straight and the other half, have zero attraction to their customers. Two things would happen. Either the hustler will lie there, expecting the customer to do all of the work. Or you will have to direct (and I do mean DIRECT) the hustler as to what you want to do in bed, and they are robotic. Fact is I have to say out of the handful of hustlers I have been with; only three have ever satisfied me. But the other reason I stopped being with a hustler is that I should not have to pay for sex. It is that self-esteem issue again. You should have confidence in yourself to know that you should not have to pay for sex. You also get in that sticky situation of running into that hustler again. Remember what I said earlier, a good trick for a hustler is when they can get a customer coming back for more and more. That has happened to me, and it is scary to turn someone down who is desperate for cash. The strategy I use is to say that I did not expect to run into them, so I have no money on me.
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